We knew the cost of the COVID-19 pandemic will be high for the global auto industry, and the latest sales and production figures from Nissan for March 2020 reflect that new reality.

In a world largely knocked down and locked down by a pandemic, Nissan's global sales performance took a huge dip with just 315,194 units sold. That represents a sharp 42.6% drop compared to March 2019.

Nissan's sales in Japan weren't so badly affected, registering a dip of 19%. Actually, they even registered a 14.9% growth in the mini-vehicles (kei car) segment. But in other markets around the world sales numbers dropped significantly as dealerships were forced to close.

North America went down by 47.4%: the U.S. was down 48.2%, Mexico was down 31.3%, Canada was down 67.8%. Russia's numbers weren't so bad, registering a drop of just 14.9%, but the COVID-hit European market was really hurting as the total drop in the region was 50.8%. China was down 44.9% in the same period. Other foreign markets (which include the Philippines) collectively dropped by 46.2%.

For Fiscal Year 2019-20, the performance from the 11 months prior to March 2020 did average out the numbers. All in all, Nissan sold 4,791,600 vehicles in FY 2019-20, which is a 13.2% drop from FY 2018-19's total of 5,522,548.

Nissan, like all other automakers, is raring to get going. CEO Makoto Uchida has been directing the company on a route to recovery following the troubles in the post-Ghosn era and after the rather dramatic grilling they received at the last stockholders meeting. Of course the plans to recover were put on hold due to the global pandemic.

It'll be interesting to see how the global auto industry pushes forward in a world recovering (albeit slowly) from the heavy economic effects of COVID-19.